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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Penny and Her Marble (and Other Easy Readers)


Aside from the comparative simplicity of the text and the interdependence of text and illustrations, the biggest problem the committee faces in evaluating easy readers for Newbery recognition is that most publishers simply do not submit them, leaving committee members to find–and champion–them on their own.  That’s easy to do when you have big names [...]

Doll Bones


Poppy set down one mermaid doll close to the stretch of asphalt road that represented the Blackest Sea. They were old—bought from Goodwill—with big shiny heads, different colored tails and frizzy hair. Then the mermaids waited for the boat to get closer, their silly plastic smiles hiding their lethal intentions. They’d crash the ship against [...]

The Thing About Luck


Kouun  is “good luck” in Japanese, and one year my family had none of it.  We were cursed with bad luck.  Bad luck chased us around, pointing her bony finger.  We got seven flat tires in six weeks.  I got malaria, one of fifteen hundred cases in the United States that year.  And my grandmother’s [...]

The Early Bird Gets the Worm


When MOON OVER MANIFEST won the Newbery Medal a couple of years back it took us by surprise.  The book had three starred reviews, but it was a debut novel published in October.  It definitely flew under our radar.  I enjoyed the book very much and looked forward to Vanderpool’s sophomore effort to see whether [...]

The Tip of the Iceberg

At the end of the last Heavy Medal season, Wendy announced– I’m now retiring from Newbery fandom. This was my fifth year, and I read more widely than ever before thanks to the great Seattle Public Library system that I’m now privy to (72 books that I considered eligible for the Newbery, plus a number of [...]

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice



So Long, Farewell . . .

IT’S TIME TO SAY GOODBYE As we wrap up another season of Heavy Medal, we’d like to thank all of our readers for their contributions.  It’s always hard to recognize only a small handful of books every year, but I always feel like we are able to celebrate many more worthy titles here, titles which [...]

2013 Newbery Medal and Honors

Newbery Medal THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN Newbery Honors SPLENDORS AND GLOOMS BOMB THREE TIMES LUCKY Can I just say how pleased I am with this committee?  Really.  I think these are awesome choices.  As I mentioned on the Battle of the Kids’ Books site, I think no other book this year has the combination of [...]

Last Words

The anticipation of Monday’s announcements is making me giddy and restless.  It’s also making me lose my blogging mojo.  I wrote about potential Newbery books for a third grade audience, but wasn’t happy with it.  Then I wrote about second-guessing the Newbery committee, but decided that wasn’t quite right either. So I’ll just mention that my top four choices are BOMB, CHICKADEE, [...]

The Virtual Mock Supercommittee Has Spoken!

With 59 voters, we have the following results . . . BOMB . . . 14 (1st) + 12 (2nd) + 5 (3rd) = 125 SPLENDORS AND GLOOMS . . . 9 (1st) + 6 (2nd) + 9 (3rd) = 68 STARRY RIVER OF THE SKY . . . 3 (1st) + 11 (2nd) + [...]